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February 2014



Ah! Your bathtub, where you love to soak away all the stress of the day, shouldn’t you spend a bit of time picking the best bathtub for your home?!  Ardele Warren from Splashes Bath & Kitchen Centres answers your questions below on the all-important bathtub.


 I would like to replace my existing bathtub, where do I start?


Firstly, it sounds like you have decided that you want a bathtub.  Many people make daily use of their showers but not their tubs.  If you’re one of those, you might want to consider a larger shower with a seat over a tub, especially if your space is tight.  However, if you like to soak away the day reading a book in the tub you’ll really want to consider the best bathtub for you! 


It is critical to know the size of the space that you have to work with when choosing a new bathtub.  If you’re removing a tub from an existing alcove and the tile is still on the wall, measure the length of the tub space and you might get 58”.  That is due to the drywall and tile, so you’re actually looking for a 60” tub.  For the width of the tub, you may get 31” with the tile still in place, so that is a 32” width.  Meaning your perfect tub to buy without having to move any walls or make any changes is a 60”x32”.


Another important measurement is the existing drain.  When you’re looking at your tub (as if you’re going to step into it), is the drain at the right side or the left side of the tub?  How far is the drain from the wall?  Sometimes we hear that the existing drain is 15” from the long wall and 7” from the short wall; however, there are some manufacturers, like MAAX, where the drain is actually 10” from the wall, so being aware of what tub you can install without having to bring in a jackhammer is important!


What is AFR?


You will see in some new tubs and shower bases the term AFR, which means Above Floor Rough-in.   This is easier for the plumber to hook up a new drain, but it also means that the space under the tub is deeper and therefore the step over the ledge is higher.  Just something to consider while you are making your decision.


How do I figure out which is the best tub for me?


Test one out!  The easiest way to find out what is comfortable for you is to visit one of our showrooms, take off your shoes and climb right in!  The water will fill to just below the waste/overflow hole so be sure to check that level when you’re testing tubs.


In some cases, you may not be doing a replacement of an existing tub into an existing spot, but instead trying to design a new bathroom.  You’ll want to select the perfect location for your tub for flow in the room, but also for the best size for you.  A standard tub length is 60”, but you can get 66” and 72” inches with widths of 32”, 34”, 36”, and 42”.   If you have the space or two bathrooms, maybe think of selecting different tubs - one that is more standard for everyday use and one that is more luxurious such as a 66”x42” whirlpool jet tub!


Beyond basic comfort, it helps to think about the use of the tub – whether you are bathing little ones or wanting to create a true spa experience.  The depth and size of your tub could be affected by the age of those in your home for little ones climbing in on their own or even for installing useful handles for accessibility as you age.  You’ll never regret allowing for extra storage space or additional shelves around the tub for toys for little ones or a spot for your candles & wine glass, if you have the space to make it possible.   


If you are considering a major size upgrade for your bath, be sure to check your hot water heater – you don’t want a 50-gallon tub and a 40-gallon hot water tank!


Ask your Questions

 Are you finding this expert advice helpful?  Submit your questions to us and we will feature answers on this blog to help you and others with your bathroom and kitchen fixture decisions.